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Poster: dmartin23 Date: May 15, 2009 4:21am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: The Driller Killer

Would this limit me to title and basic story? Or would this class as script copyright fringment? As in Crazy man with drill and the film is called 'The Driller Killer'? and like it can be marketed as a remake?

You're helping me alot, Thanks

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Poster: Video-Cellar Date: May 15, 2009 5:00am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: The Driller Killer

You'd probably have to get proper legal advice, but under US law titles can't be copyrighted. They can be trademarked so you would have to have someone to do a trademark search.

Using the basic storyline, idea or concept of the film could be copyright infringement. Generic plots and ideas can't be copyrighted but elements from the film used in conjunction with the film's title could add up to a stronger case for copyright infringement. Deciding what is generic and what is not is very subjective and open to interpretation (ie there is no clear definition in the law.)

Using the title (if it isn't trademarked) and marketing the resulting film as a remake could run into issues regarding the moral rights of the author of the original work. That is the right to receive credit and remuneration for the work.

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Poster: dmartin23 Date: May 15, 2009 5:13am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: The Driller Killer

OK. What would be the trouble with making a sequel? If its just called say The Driller Killer 2 and marketed as a sequel and contains footage from the first film? How would this be?

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Poster: Video-Cellar Date: May 15, 2009 5:20am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: The Driller Killer

If you use characters and scenes from the original film this would still be a derivative work. The copyright and moral rights in the screenplay and story basically give the author the right the control the making of derivative works.

Linking the film to the original work by calling it Driller Killer 2 and using scenes from the movie would also strengthen a lawyers case for copyright infringement.

There could also be a trademark. It's common for people who loose the copyright in the finished film to use a trademark to try and grab the film back from the public domain.

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Poster: dmartin23 Date: May 15, 2009 5:40am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: The Driller Killer

Whats the deal with Night of the Living dead? I know that wasnt copyrighted at all but what about twhen people have changed the audio and stuff on that?

The Public Domain says I can build on a public domain thing (For lack of a better word) So wouldnt a sequel be just building on to the story? We used night of the living dead clips in another movie of ours. So can I include clips of driller killer in a movie...about a copy cat killer, who refrences the first film. and call its a new title like an unoffical sequel?

I am sorry. Im just trying to get as much info as I can before getting legal advice

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Poster: Video-Cellar Date: May 15, 2009 6:02am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: The Driller Killer

Night of the Living Dead is a different story because it was made at a different time, before the current copyright system was brought in. Prior to 1979 the US copyright system was an opt in system. You had to include a notice and register for copyright protection. NOTLD did not include a copyright notice and fell into the public domain on day of publication. It has been adapted and expanded a lot since (but most often by people involved in the original film: George A Romero has his 4 sequels - the first two of which he sold remake and sequel rights to the distributors; Russ Streiner and John Russo were involved in Return of the Living Dead and the 30th Anniversary version of NOTLD; and most of the originals were involved in some way in the Tom Savini remake.)

From 1978 there was an automatic level of copyright in all works as soon as they were created. The need for notices and registration formalities only served to strengthen copyright claims. Basically a "Public Domain" film from March 1978-March 1989 (nothing newer than March 1989 can be PD unless dedicated to PD) can only be used in its entirety exactly as it was originally released. It cant be really legally edited, built upon, derived from. Movies from this period are not traditionally "Public Domain". They are more often "free to copy without incurring damages should a copyright suit be brought against you."

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Poster: dmartin23 Date: May 15, 2009 4:31am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: The Driller Killer

and also...is there anywhere where the public domain status is legally confirmed?

Thanks Again

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Poster: Video-Cellar Date: May 15, 2009 5:11am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: The Driller Killer

You would need to see a copyright lawyer or clearing house that has access to the Library of Congress copyright card records. They can research the copyright status and provide advice and a determination of status (If you go directely to the LOC they only give file info - no advce or determination of status). You would need a lawyer's copyright report to get any insurance to indemnify yourself against copyright suits. You would also need a trademark search for the title. Again that would probably need to be done by a copyright lawyer or clearing house.

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Poster: dmartin23 Date: May 15, 2009 5:24am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: The Driller Killer

Right ok Thanks. Im in the UK. Does the films public domain status apply worldwide or just US? sorry about all the questions. Just getting advice

Dan

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Poster: Video-Cellar Date: May 15, 2009 5:36am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: The Driller Killer

Under most international conventions generally the original film used in its entirety would be considered public domain everywhere. But that is only for copying and distributing the original film in its original form.

However, under UK law strong protection is given to all underlying rights in a film (that's the script, music, direction, etc.) and the concept of the moral rights of the author are even stronger.

There is a remake of the film Driller Killer in the works set for release next year. According to IMDBpro Abel Ferrara was going to produce it and it was to be directed by Asia Argento. The scripter/director is listed as Andrew Jones with David Hess in the lead role. Its a Welsh "Masterplan Films" production and they list it at s 2.5 million pounds budget and "in negotiations". http://www.masterplanfilms.co.uk/forthcomingfilms.html scroll down the page its after the first entry.